Thursday, February 06, 2014

Ham on Nye: Sandwiching Evolution and Creationism Together

How do you get creationists and scientists together in the same room? Bring leading spokespeople from each camp for a debate. Last night, as many know, Bill Nye, the appropriately named "Science Guy" and Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky squared off in a debate of sorts, to argue their case for creationism or evolution. (The debate can be watched here)

To be honest, the event felt less like a debate and more like two ships passing in the night, like two parts of a sandwich that wouldn't come together no matter how much one chewed them. Not much of a surprise, I guess. Debates work best when the conversation takes place between people who share a common matrix of beliefs, even while they hold disagreements, even significant ones at that. Ham and Nye don't have disagreements, they are in fundamentally different universes. How each viewed science was at issue. Nye clearly supported the scientific process as it is taught and practiced in research. Ham looked at science as only a crutch for finding support of his own view. If anything supported the standard scientific model over the creationist model, Ham found ways to dismiss or discount the finding rather than question his own model.